The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Rocky Balboa

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TechnoratiSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Judy Thorburn

Rocky Balboa

Las Vegas Tribune - http://www.lasvegastribune.com
Las Vegas Round The Clock
- http://www.lasvegasroundheclock.com

The Women Film Critics Circle - http://www.wfcc.wordpress.com
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
">
kreatia@
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"ROCKY BALBOA" DOESN'T PACK ENOUGH PUNCH

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

Do we really need another Rocky movie? Thirty years after the original Rocky won the Oscar for Best Picture, and after four more sequels you’d think enough is enough. But, a lot has happened since Sylvester Stallone became a huge star. He’s no longer one of the highest paid actors in the world. Sly’s career has hit a slump and once again his life parallels that of the fictional character he brought to life on screen. Like Rocky did in the ring, Sly rose to fame after his film became a box office and critical success. So, whether audiences need another Rocky film or not, the answer is Sylvester Stallone could surely use a hit. No matter what, Rocky Balboa definitely brings the Rocky series to a close, but fitting enough he ain’t gonna leave without a fight.

Once again Rocky is the underdog. Long retired from the ring, the 60 year old former two-time world heavyweight champion is now a lonely widower with a grown son (Milo Ventimiglia of TV’s Heroes, most likely chosen because he shares a similar crooked lower lip as Stallone) who is trying to make a life for himself away from his father’s shadow. When Rocky’s days aren’t spent sitting beside his wife Adrian’s grave, his nights are spent at the restaurant he owns reminiscing to dining patrons about old stories in the ring. His only close friend and confident is brother in law Paulie (Burt Young, reprising the role for the sixth time).

Meanwhile a computer animated fight between the boxer formerly known as “The Italian Stallion” and the present undefeated heavyweight champion of the world, Mason “The Line” Dixon (real life, former light heavyweight champ, Antonio Tarver) becomes the focus of a televised ESPN debate, getting everyone curious as to what the real life outcome of matching two athletes from two different eras would be. Dixon hasn’t fought a worthy opponent in a while and as a result has lost fans, support, and marquee value. Rocky misses his wife and boxing and needs to get out of retirement to prove to himself that he isn’t a has-been and still has the fire, no matter what blows life has thrown at him.

With Adrian gone (but seen in flashbacks) female inspiration comes from someone that Rocky had a run in with years ago (in the first Rocky) when she was a cocky little kid. Little Marie (Geraldine Hughes), now all grown up and a single mother of a mulatto teenager, Steps (James Francis Kelly III), forms a bond with Rocky who takes both of them under his wing as their mentor and protector. Marie accepts his offer to work as a hostess at his restaurant and Rocky acts as a much-needed father figure to her son. The relationship is purely platonic, so forget a May December romance. It doesn’t happen.

It takes an hour into the movie before Rocky begins his training regiment, a sequence that was skimmed over way too quickly. Prior to the fight, promoted at a Mandalay Bay press event as “skill vs. will”, most of the film is spent with preachy dialogue about the world being a tough place that will bring you to your knees if you let it, but you have to move forward fighting the fighters fight, being the best you can be, “doing what you gotta do no matter how it looks to other people”, and so on and so forth. And yes, the night before the fight Rocky gets a final pep talk from Marie who tells him to prove to everybody “the last thing to age is the heart”. Ok, already. We get the message. So after all the sappy talk, the slow pace finally picks up with the inevitable “exhibition fight”.

You can call it Rocky Redux since the story goes back to his origins; the streets of Philadelphia but with some of the best elements from his past missing. That isn’t to say Stallone doesn’t stay faithful to his character by keeping the heart and soul of the lovable fighter intact. But, is that enough to keep us interested? Rocky’s beloved Adrian, his devoted, yet hard as nails coach (Burgess Meredith, missed now, more than ever) and lengthy exciting, training sessions are missing as well as a formidable, mean opponent who can’t wait to kick his ass. So other than coming up with another way to get Rocky into the ring to close the series, the story is rather bland and unoriginal. However, it did make me feel nostalgic and sentimental and want to watch the movie that started it all, once again.

What it comes down to is this. I won’t go so far as to dismiss the film and say it is bad, when mediocre is more applicable. All in all, Rocky Balboa proves he still has the passion and a strong right hook, but the film doesn’t pack enough punch, or the power of the first to knock my socks off.